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10 Best Books On Innovation To Get You Through The Recession.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on January 6, 2008

We are at a tipping point in the economy where recession is probable so CEOs and top managers need to quickly shift their strategies for 2008. The CEOs who will be tossed out by their boards in a year or two will be the ones who simply focus on cutting costs over the next twelve months, allowing competitors to smack their companies hard with new products and services as the economy begins to grow strongly again in 09. Smart managers will focus on innovation during the tough months ahead and come out swinging by the end of the year. This is what Apple tends to do so look to Apple—not for its products—but for its strategy.

So here are 10 books on innovation that can guide you. It’s not an

exclusive list and I'll probably add a couple when people post comments to remind me of what I've left off.

Here goes for the 10 top books on innovation for 08:

1- The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin.

2- Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw.

3- Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync? Seth Godin.

4- The Design of Future Things by Don Norman.

5-Innovation Nation by John Kao.

6- Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

7-The Future of Management by Gary Hammel.

8- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

9- The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda.

10- Everyday Engineering: What Engineers See, by Andrew Burroughs.

Three new books coming out in 08 you need to read. Two are by Clay Christensen-- Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns; and Diagnosing the Disease, on the disruptive innovations taking place in both the education and healthcare industry. The other is by Roger Martin--Design Thinking, The Next Competitive Advantage.

Finally, if you are a manager contemplating laying people in the months ahead, or face layoffs yourself, please take a look at Robert Suttons' The No Ass.... Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't.

Reader Comments

Phil Goodman, President & CEO Genergraphics, Inc.

January 7, 2008 8:38 PM

I agree with this article, however,the CEO's that are going to survive have to get more involed with their marketing campaigns.

They need to stop looking at demographics for their core customers and turn to generations and their mind-set. The only way they can do that is with a proccess called Genergraphics.

Go to as see for yourself. Remember no generation follows another in mind-set based on the social circumstances they were raised with. This means that one generation will tine out another generations commericals even if they buy the same product or service.

Marty McClure

January 8, 2008 5:24 PM

If you always think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you always got. The same old, same old ideas over and over again. The future belongs to those thinkers who embrace change, break new ground, forge new paths, and transform the way they think. Discover how to look at the same information as everyone else and see something different by using the creative thinking techniques and strategies that creative geniuses have used throughout history.
Internationally acclaimed creativity expert Michael Michalko’s Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques have inspired business thinkers around the world to create the innovative ideas and creative strategies they need to achieve unimaginable success in today's changing business environment of complexity and uncertainty. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.

[Available at, Barnes & Noble, and most major bookstores. Visit for more detailed information.]


January 8, 2008 5:54 PM

"...if you are a manager contemplating laying people in the months ahead..."

yup, a no-ahole rule would be a good idea...I know that's what I look for when I'm going to lay someone...

Max Mckeown

November 10, 2008 6:33 PM

Worth taking a look at my article on exactly this point... Innovate Your Way Out of Recession... because that's the only way that we will ever get out of one. Growth is the cure to shrinkage and that only happens when we create more value.


February 3, 2009 4:27 AM

indeed a crucial phase to pass through,but lots of optimistic visions to attain the goals of companies.

Max Mckeown

April 9, 2009 1:53 PM

You could also try my book on the same subject...

Online Casino

December 18, 2010 10:57 PM

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10_best_books_on_innovation_to_get_you_through_the_recession.. Nice :)

April 22, 2011 9:33 AM

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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